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Your guide to Matagorda
All About Matagorda
Located at the mouth of the Colorado River, midway between Houston and Corpus Cristi, the Texas town of Matagorda has long served as a commercial and recreational fishing port. While these industries still operate in Matagorda today, the area is now also a popular tourist destination due to its abundance of secluded beaches that are rarely busy. Fishing, boating, and general water recreation are the area's primary attractions. However, several surrounding reserves and refuges make Matagorda an excellent base for wildlife viewing excursions.
To the north of town, the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge has close to 50,000 acres of diverse ecologies, including marshes, woodlands, and sloughs that are home to a wide range of wildlife, such as reddish egrets, alligators, and Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles. Should you tire of critters and currents, the area also has a small history museum, 18-hole golf course with river views, and a handful of Western clothing boutiques.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Matagorda?
With its warm waters, Matagorda's location on the Gulf Coast creates a climate with only moderate seasonal differences in precipitation and temperature. As a result, rainfall is relatively consistent and mild throughout the year, with a modest uptick towards the end of summer. May through September is an excellent time to book Matagorda beach rentals as the area experiences hot temperatures conducive to the beach activities and fishing for which the area is known.
If you need a break from the beaches, Houston is a mere two hours away, and hosts a ton of standout events throughout the year, like a jazz festival in September or a food festival in mid-March. During the winter, the Matagorda experiences brisk temperatures that are unsuitable for swimming. However, fishing from the shore or on charter boats is still a popular activity during this time.
What are the top things to do in Matagorda?
Matagorda Bay Nature Park
This coastal nature park on the Matagorda Bay peninsula has more than 1,300 acres of reserve lands available for recreation and exploration. Ocean kayaking, fishing, swimming, and beachcombing are all popular activities in the area, in addition to the public boat ramp and picnicking areas. The Colorado River flows into the Gulf waters at the park's edge, and river rafting trips from upriver into the ocean run through much of the year.
Matagorda County Museum
Located just in the neighboring town of Bay City, this museum hosts several exhibits that detail the early exploration and ranching history of southeastern Texas. A children's room and collection of historical ranch brands from the area are among the more popular attractions. But the museum's most prized exhibit is the collection of artifacts recovered from a 17th-century wreck off the coast of a French sailing vessel. Cannons, cutlery, and treasures from the ship are on display in this small museum.
Great Texas Birding Trail
The central Texas coastline contains several migratory and year-round bird populations in the coastal woodland ecosystems, including whooping cranes, eastern bluebirds, pileated woodpeckers, and many others. The Great Texas Birding Trail encompasses most gulf coastal areas and provides prime viewing opportunities for these and hundreds of other species throughout the year. The Matagorda-Rio Colorado loop runs along the Matagorda peninsula and inland towards Bay City, providing easy access from anywhere in the area.